South End open studios this weekend

September 22, 2010 § 1 Comment

Our friend and artist-sometimes-in-residence Brian Knep is participating.  Details here; Brian’s building is #15 on the map, at 715-735 Harrison.

Some of you know that it was on a trip to the South End Open Studios several years ago, with Debbie Marks and Chris Sander, that I ran across Brian and his work.  The piece he was showing at the time was Healing 2003:

which turns out to be built on the FitzHugh-Nagumo equations.  It’s even more compelling in person; you’re in a dark room, and the reds and greens are brighter, and it moves in a surprisingly lifelike way.  After a brief conversation along the lines of “How does this piece work?”; “Well, you see, I’m using a computer”; “No, I mean what’s the algorithm?” we determined that we had something to talk about.  And about 2 years later he came to Harvard in a residency largely funded by the Harvard Office for the Arts.  One of the products of the residency was the video of the frog that occasionally appears in the stairwell here in the department, swimming along, changing from a tadpole to a frog and back again.  Occasionally it swims frantically in an attempt to escape its fate.  But it never does.

Brian has been kind enough to introduce us to many artists working at the interface of art with science and technology through the Systems Biology Artist Talk series.  It turns out that Boston is especially rich in artists with such interests, which I guess makes sense.  The talks are often about themes that we recognize — visualization, complexity, communication, what is life anyway — but from a very different point of view.  This year’s schedule is in the works, and I’ll announce it here when it’s final.

§ One Response to South End open studios this weekend

  • Brian Knep says:

    Thanks Becky! My studio is actually at 715 Harrison Ave, in the old Bates Schoolhouse. For those curious, I’ll be showing photos, videos, and microsculptures that I’ve created while in the department. I’ve been playing around with frogs, Xenopus tropicalis, from Marc Kirschner’s lab, and tiny worms, Caenorhabditis elegans, from Walter Fontana’s lab. Hope to see you there (11am-5pm each day).

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